In 1538, Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada reached the Tatacoa Desert and called it “Valley of Tears.” He was impressed by the immense, motionless scenery and haunting colors as he passed through in his search for El Dorado. He did not find El Dorado but his arrival opened this region to the Spaniards and the world. Two sophisticated long-gone cultures would be discovered in San Agustín and Tierradentro. UNESCO named both archaeological parks World Heritage Sites in 1995.
Travelling through the highlands and mountains of Huila and Cauca, travelers reach San Andrés de Pisimbalá and the National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro, In 1995, UNESCO described Tierradentro’s large, elaborate shaft and chamber tombs, a “unique testimony to the high level of artistic and social culture of the region over its long prehispanic history.” This unforgettable experience ends in Popayán, “the white city” and recognized by UNESCO for its gastronomy.